Face Facts, Congressman Manzulo: You Can Run But Not Hide From Your Spending Record

From the campaign to re-elect Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R, Illinois 16th District)…

Earlier today, Congressman Manzullo issued another release full of misleading facts that enable him and his staff to hide from decades of earmarks, spending and debt limit increases. It’s imperative that as this campaign continues, facts drive the debate, rather than emotion. Below are the facts behind the Kinzinger campaign’s statements:

Congressman Manzullo and his House colleagues voted in 2010 to enact a self-imposed earmark ban on themselves – a full year before Manzullo’s opponent and the Freshman class took office. Manzullo was consistently very judicious about requesting earmarks. He requested a limited amount and they were nearly always for infrastructure spending, such as roads.

Don Manzullo cannot run on his record when it is convenient but when questioned about it – run away from it. Despite the Manzullo spin, the facts are:

  • The House did not ban earmarks in January 2010. In fact, Congressman Manzullo championed nearly $8 million dollars in earmark spending in Fiscal Year 2010; so clearly, a ban on earmarks was not implemented (Source: Rockford Register Star – Oct. 2010 and Legistorm).
  • Following the election of 87 new Republican House freshmen, House Republicans were successful in completely banning earmarks in November 2010 (Source: Reuters).
  • Congressman Manzullo was one of the largest earmarkers among his Illinois Republican colleagues (Source: Legistorm), three years before the official ban on earmarks.

In FY 2008, Congressman Manzullo was actually listed fourth of nine Illinois Republicans in securing earmarks. And the only reason he was that high on the list was because he was charged with a huge $59 million earmark (out of $64 million total) that year for a new federal courthouse in Rockford. That $59 million was requested by the U.S. Courts and the President because the existing courthouse in Rockford, which serves 10 counties and three Congressional districts, was a major safety hazard. It’s questionable as to whether courthouses should have even been considered earmarks.

An earmark is an earmark. If Congressman Manzullo is going to tout his record of earmarks – something his official website does with press releases and his official biography then he should be willing to defend it. Trying to change the definition of earmarking after two decades of doing it is not being forthright with the voters. Despite the Manzullo spin, the facts are:

  • Congressman Manzullo touts the nearly $100 million he secured for a federal courthouse in his biography (Source: Congressman Manzullo’s Biography). Nowhere in his bio does Manzullo give credit to anyone else other than Durbin for the funds acquired for the courthouse

o $7 million in early 2000s;
o $34.5 million in 2005 and
o $58 million in 2007

  • Congressman Manzullo was one of the largest earmarkers among his Illinois Republican colleagues in Fiscal Year 2008 and has more than $80 million earmarks just from FY2008-FY2010 (Source: Legistorm).
  • Some House Republicans were calling for a total earmark ban in January 2010, however Congressman Manzullo preferred doing business as usual and had nearly $8 million in earmarks for FY 2010 (Source: Rockford Register Star – Oct. 2010 and Legistorm).
  • After nearly 20 years of requesting earmarks and doing business as usual in Washington, why did Congressman Manzullo suddenly flip-flop on his position on earmarking? When Adam Kinzinger and his freshman class led, Don Manzullo clearly followed….when forced.

Congressman Manzullo had the opportunity to vote on three bailout bills, and he voted against every one of them. He has always opposed bailouts.

Congressman Manzullo joined Congressional Democrats in supporting bailouts.

  • Voted YES to giving General Motors (GM) $15 billion dollars (Source: H.R. 7321; vote number 2008-H690 on 12/10/2008). Congressman Manzullo was just one 32 Republicans to vote “YES” for the GM bailout, 150 Republicans voted against the bailout.
  • Voted YES to President Obama’s Cash for Clunkers program that cost taxpayers $24,000 per car (Source: H.R. 3435; vote number 2009-H682 on 7/31/2009).
  • Before supporting President Obama’s own program, Congressman Manzullo offered his own version of a Cash for Clunkers program that would have cost taxpayers $75 billion dollars and would have provided $5,000 taxpayer funded vouchers for car purchases up to $50,000 – even Speaker Pelosi rejected this proposal.

Congressman Manzullo is considered one of the most fiscally conservative Members of Congress from Illinois. Since 2007 alone, he has voted more than 700 times to cut $2.6 trillion in spending. In fact, in 2011, the only year Congressman Manzullo and his opponent – Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-11) – have served together, Kinzinger’s voting record proves he is the reckless spender.

Congressman Manzullo can talk about 79 votes or 700 votes that give the appearance of spending cuts that basically never materialized – that’s the Washington game that voters are tired of…brag about something that never happens.

  • Congressman Manzullo told the Rockford Star that careerists in Congress are responsible for government’s relentless size (Source: Rockford Register Star – July 2002). After 20 years in Washington, Congressman Manzullo is definitely a careerist in Congress and his voting record reflects adding $5 trillion to our deficits by increasing the debt ceiling 12 times without ever advocating for matching spending cuts.
  • It was only when Congressman Kinzinger and his freshmen class demanded that Washington stop doing business as usual that the debt limit increase did include spending cuts (Source: USA Today, June 2011).
  • Congressman Kinzinger told President Obama head on that “under no circumstances will Republicans support irresponsible legislation which increases the federal government’s credit limit without any spending cuts or budgetary reforms. It is high time that we cut up the government’s credit cards and draw a hard line to stop the government from overspending, which is hampering our economy’s ability to grow and thrive,” (Kinzinger delivers Republican Weekly Address, June, 2011- see video below)
  • The Washington Post calls Congressman Kinzinger a “poster boy for the new breed of conservatives who are eager to wipe out government waste and inefficiency – no matter where they find it” (Source: Washington Post, June 2011)

Kinzinger Gives Republican Address — 6/11/11


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